Give Me Sugar: Pistol Race Review

I ate sugar for the first time in a year at Pistol! It’ll take a little bit of reading but I’ll tell you why.

The training block leading up to this race would be anything but normal for MFH (My Favorite Husband) and myself. Because this kind of “excitement” rarely happens to us, we’re going to do a brief summary of the past few months to let everybody catch up.

October 2021 MFH and I found out for sure that we would be moving home to Mississippi. We were thrilled! MFH’s company asked us to wait until after the New Year before moving and we were find with that. Both of us knew Pistol was coming up in March so we wanted to move soon enough so as to interrupt training as little as possible.

Best laid plans, right?

In November it was decided we would head down to #1 Son’s house for the Thanksgiving Holiday and to do some house hunting. At that time, the renter in our home in Mississippi was planning on purchasing so we needed a place to live. Problem was, we couldn’t get a firm closing date from our renter, confirmation of financing, etc and we were getting uncomfortable with the whole situation. During our visit at #1 Son’s, we finally found out that our renter would not be purchasing our home so we could move back! We enjoyed our house and property so that was just fine. There was still the tiny detail of getting our renter to move out so we could move in? What a mess!

Upon returning to Iowa after Thanksgiving, we found out we would be moving the last week of December. We were spending the Christmas Holiday with #1 Daughter and her family in Colorado! That left us 2 weeks to pack up the entire house AND get it loaded onto the moving truck before we left for Colorado. We were spinning in circles and not much training was getting done.

So, the house was packed. The truck was loaded. We flew to Colorado and had a wonderful time. Flew back to Iowa, picked up the animals and the next day started driving home to Mississippi.

We ended up living a week in a hotel before we could strongly encourage our renter to get out of the house. We had just one day left before the moving truck arrived by the time they moved but everything worked out just fine. It was just a very high drama time in our lives and neither one of us is big on drama.

Most of January was spent trying to settle and unpack and get back to semi serious training. Pistol was coming up quickly and I was feeling quite a bit of pressure about it looming.

Y’all, my coach is so patient and tolerated all of my meltdowns while keeping me focused on the race. I don’t know how he does it but he’s amazing! Thank you, Denny!!!

So, after about 6 weeks of intense training, it was race weekend! YAY!!!

Leading up to race week, MFH wasn’t sure if he’d be able to go to this race. He’s got a big project at work and if was looking iffy. Finding any pacers for this race had been a bust as well so I was looking at a zero support event.

The redeeming thing was I had run this event two other times and knew it well. Still, I was in a moderate panic mode over the whole thing. I think I was the cumulation of so many months of drama hitting me?

At the last minute, MFH decided he could go! YAY!!!

At the last minute, two of my #MScoffeerunners friends decided they could come pace! YAY!!!

Y’all life was looking mighty fine.

MFH and I had a lovely drive to Tennessee Thursday for the race. We like to get to a race a day before packet pickup to rest a little bit. I get all wound up and burn up so much energy before the race even starts so we have found this to be a smart thing to do.

Friday morning I realized I’d forgotten to pack a few things to MFH volunteered to hop in the car and get them from a store. The store was only 2 miles from the hotel so no big deal, right?

While he went shopping, I grabbed a quick shake out run on the hotel TM.

I’d been back in our room maybe 10 minute when my phone rang. It was MFH.

Um, I’ve been in an accident and the car’s a little messed up.

My first question was, Are you okay!?! I mean, who cares about a car??? MFH is what’s important!

He replied he was fine but we wouldn’t be driving the car home.

After I found out where I way, I literally ran from our hotel to where the accident had taken place. The police were already there. The other car had already been towed and I gave MFH the biggest hug EVER!!! *and he was right, we weren’t driving the car home.

The air bags had deployed and everything. I’ve never been so thankful for safety features in a care ever! I firmly believed they saved his life!!!

The car was towed, we got a rental and our two adult children went ballistic! They decided we weren’t allowed to drive ourselves home. #1 Son drew the short straw and drove up to Tennessee from Mississippi to play chauffeur and drive us home after the race….which was very sweet.

Once we secured a rental car, it was packet pickup time. Both of us were kind of fried after the events of the morning and just went through the motions of the packet pickup but it was still fun to get the bib for the next day!

Y’all know I train outside in all the weather offers but I don’t think I’ve ever run in such strong winds. I was getting blown all over the course. I walked when I was going into the wind and ran all the rest of the time. The first loop I was solo and then afterwards I picked up pacers. You have no idea how thankful I am/was for my pacers!!!

My first pacer was #1 Son. Not only was he there to drive, he decided to do a loop with me! I’m a lucky mom.

After #1 Son, David paced me a loop. I feel so awful about this loop. This was my very whiny me loop and he politely listened to it. Bless his heart, he was so kind and I’m absolutely mortified at how big a grump I was on this loop! I hope he’s still speaking to me after I inhaled an avocado in front of him and tried to bust in on his porta potty. #ProTip: Then the porta potty door is red, that means occupied.

While on the loop with David, loop #3, my keto flat out quit working. Friday evening before MFH and I went to bed, my tummy had been a little off? I contributed it to stress from MFH’s wreck. At breakfast I had a hard time eating but figured it was race day excitement. David and I were around mile 26 and my tummy said, Absolutely not!!!

At the next aid station I drank soda and ate sugar! Y’all, I haven’t had sugar in about a year. I thought for sure it would put a spring in my step! M&Ms, Gummy bears…I ate it all and my tummy got more and more angry with me. I was a sad panda.
I think I ate some tomato soup at an aid station towards the back of the course that was delicious but after a mile or so, my tummy was cramping again. It refused water. It refused soda. It refused even cupcakes!!!
Basically, after mile 26 I had was running without fuel/hydration. That is not good.

David handed me off this his wonderful wife, Patricia. I was in a much better mood this loop. I had picked up my trekking poles and the S/F and my rumpatootis was very happy about that.

I don’t this Patricia and I got a pic together so here’s a pic of her visiting the cow around around the S/F loop. She’s so funny!!!

*butt did you die?

This was loop 4 and it was getting rough. I was still doing…okay? My pace tanked on this loop. Patricia was helping me on some of the larger hills by giving me a gentle push in the small of my back…which is technically cheating and I knew it but I did ask for the help and she kindly did it.

There’s really only a few large hills at Pistol and in the grand scheme of ultra running, Pistol is a very flat course. There’s lots of little hills but they’re kind of mean. The post the grade signs next to them. Just a bunch of very short inclines.

There’s also quite a few low bridges. I’ve never given low bridges much thought but I did think of a Mississippi running friend, Derrick. I realized he would have to bend over a little bit to go under these bridges!

The last loop, MFH surprised me and paced! How awesome was that!?! It was dark by now but this course is so well lit, you don’t really notice it? Anyway, we set off and were having a lovely time of chatting. I still have my trekking poles because my legs were trashed. When we got to the larger hills, he had to push me up, not the gentle pressure Patricia used. I really was fading fast. My pace tanked these last 10 miles and I was working so hard to hold a 25 minute mile.

The downhills, which I normally handled pretty well, I was forced to go down backwards and MFH had to keep me from falling.

I. Was. Done.

In all honesty, I should have stopped after the 4th loop but I would have always thought I could have done more….which would have been true but after that 5th loop, I had nothing left to give.

It’s weird but there’s a sense of satisfaction of giving it your all, of knowing you literally did your absolute best. My best wasn’t good enough, this time, to finish that last loop but it was a pretty doggone good best!!!

Happy running everyone!!!